Ahmet Zappa Discusses Frank Zappa Hologram & Issues With Dweezil On SiriusXM
Guitarist Dweezil Zappa has shared his side of the trademark battle he’s engaged in with the Zappa Family Trust (ZFT) in a pair of recent blog posts and also wrote about his issues with the forthcoming Frank Zappa – Back On The Road: The Hologram Tour. Ahmet Zappa, who runs the ZFT, shared his side of the story during a pair of recent appearances on SiriusXM.
Last week, Ahmet and Jeff Pezzuti of Eyellusion, the company providing the technology for the Frank Zappa hologram, appeared on Eddie Trunk’s Trunk Nation program. Ahmet mentioned he has worked in the hologram space since 2007 and ran a division of Disney that dealt with the possibility of using holograms for Disney’s intellectual properties. “We’re going to be doing things that will, I think, make all Zappa fans super pumped,” Ahmet said.
Pezzuti revealed the focus for the tour will be on Frank’s 1979 rock opera Joe’s Garage. “The basis for our real Frank hologram is a show that he hired a soundstage, multi-camera shoot in the ’70s, Frank in his prime and we’re going to utilizing those assets,” Ahmet explained about what is in store for the tour. Ahmet also discussed that his father spoke with him multiple times before his death about his passion for technology similar to holograms and mentioned Frank wrote about it in Chapter 18 of his 1989 autobiography. “I’m trying to make something that would certainly make Frank proud and I think of the fans always,” Zappa added.
Here’s the audio of Ahmet and Jeff’s visit to Trunk Nation:
Ahmet and Jeff also chatted with Nik Carter and Lori Majewski for an interview that aired on SiriusXM’s Feedback channel. The third of Frank and Gail Zappa’s four children first talked about his job with the ZFT. Ahmet revealed he doesn’t take a salary for his work with the estate and that his job is to protect Frank’s legacy. “First and foremost my job is to protect Frank, the second thing is that I really care about the fans. I want to try to give them the content when they want it and how they want it. I’m 100% about that,” Ahmet said. While Gail left larger portions of the ZFT to Ahmet and Diva Zappa than she did to Dweezil and Moon Zappa, Ahmet claims both he and Diva would be happy to give their siblings an equal portion of the estate.
Ahmet said he has “zero beef” with Dweezil. He claims Dweezil took a number of facts out of context. “I think it must be really challenging to be him, to play Frank’s music and now his own music, to be associated with Frank in that way,” Ahmet stated about where he thinks his brother’s issues stem from. “For the record, I think he does an amazing job. He’s the best guitar player,” Ahmet clarified. “First of all, he was and in many ways is, my musical idol. I was in a band with him. I have nothing but nice to things to say about my brother truthfully. So it hurts me that we’re in the situation that we’re in.” Ahmet added, “I would never get in the way of him being able to provide for his family, his children and all that stuff. I would never in a million years, I am not that person.”
Another Dweezil claim Ahmet addressed was regarding guitars of Frank’s which Dweezil feels should have been given to him or were taken from him. “Dweezil is a guitar player and he loves Frank, right, and Frank had a lot of guitars. The truth of the matter is, he was left a certain amount of guitars. Those are not my decisions, that is my mother’s decisions and I am not my mother. I think his beef, on many levels, is things that he wasn’t worked out with whatever issues he has is my mom,” Ahmet said. “That’s not my responsibility, that’s not on me.”
The conversation with Ahmet and Jeff eventually took a turn to chat about the hologram. Pezzuti talked about his experience with the Ronnie James Dio hologram and the Dio tour which begins this fall. Ahmet discussed the Zappa band alum’s participation in the tour, “As we move further along (in the process of creating the hologram), all of them (the Zappa alumni mentioned in the press release announcing the tour) have committed to play. It’s just going to be depending on where they are with their own schedules and their availabilities.” He added, “All I can is it’s definitely going to be some epic Zappa in the ’70s, long hair…what we’re working with is the shiznit.” Pezutti also addressed when the tour would start, “I would say later next year based on the work that needs to get done” and added, “when it comes to these things nothing goes exactly as planned so I don’t want to put dates on it.”
Listen to Ahmet and Jeff’s appearance on SiriusXM’s Feedback channel: